ABC News: Troop Escalation Already Underway

President Bush hasn't even given his speech yet, but the first new surge of troops is already en route to Baghdad and more are scheduled to leave tomorrow:

Ninety advance troops from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Baghdad today. An additional battalion of roughly 100 troops from the same division are expected to arrive in Baghdad Thursday.

There will also be more call-ups from the National Guard.

What's different about this troop surge? According to military commanders, the troops will be residing in local Iraqi neighborhoods:

In a switch from the current way of doing business, these U.S. forces will be housed in the very neighborhoods they patrol. Military planners tell ABC News there will eventually be about 30 mini bases, called joint security stations, scattered around Baghdad housing both U.S. and Iraqi troops.


Under the new plan, the city of Baghdad will be divided into nine separate sections at the request of Iraqis who want one Army and police battalion devoted to section. The additional 18,000 U.S. troops being sent to Baghdad will be divided among those nine sections of the city, nearly doubling U.S. combat power in the region.

More bad news: The military expects the new plan will increase troop deaths in the beginning:

Commanders believe the new approach will make U.S. forces better positioned to combat sectarian violence, but they acknowledge the new approach is riskier and will likely mean more U.S. casualties in the short-run.

As for the National Guard troops:

ABC News has also learned National Guard troops who have seen combat in Iraq and Afghanistan will likely be getting some unwelcome news: They may have to go back to Iraq later this year. National Guard combat teams would be sent to Iraq as the next wave of the surge, unless the first wave succeeds in reducing violence.

This new plan sounds like a shot in the dark to me.

Commanders here caution it will take several months to fully implement the plan and maybe even longer to see results. As one senior military official here said today, "we don't know if this will work, but we do know the old way was failing."

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  • Display: Sort:
    More escalation by provoking Iran? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by aw on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 11:17:05 AM EST
    I'll bet she said this with a straight face:

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned that the US will take action against countries destabilising Iraq.

    More provocation for war with Iran?:

    Her statement comes hours after US forces stormed an Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi town of Irbil - prompting condemnation from Tehran.


    US troops raided the Iranian consulate in Irbil at about 0300 (0100 GMT), taking away computers and papers, according to Kurdish media and senior local officials.

    Five US helicopters were used to drop troops on the roof of the consulate building, according to an Iranian website close to the revolutionary guards.

    Vehicles cordoned off the access roads while troops broke down the front door, arrested five men inside and confiscated computers and documents, it said.

    Iranian television has said they had been transferred to US central command in Baghdad.


    aw, ssshh! Jim hasn't heard we attacked Iran. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 12:58:23 PM EST
    Who? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by aw on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 01:08:59 PM EST
    Oh, AWRIGHT. I forgotted. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 01:47:31 PM EST
    I thought... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 11:55:01 AM EST
    that only the Iranians pulled this kind of thing.

    ...US forces stormed an Iranian consulate...

    ...arrested five men inside and confiscated computers and documents...

    Now who are the Barbarians?

    scar (1.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 01:36:14 PM EST
    Glad to see you understand the difference betweem an embassy and a consulate. Bill doesn't.

    BTW - We're saying that it was neither.


    Diplomatic immunity by any other name... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 01:49:30 PM EST
    Wow (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 05:59:20 PM EST
    Okay, seriously. He can't possibly be this ignorant of history.

    Can he?

    ...don't answer that.

    victory is at hand (none / 0) (#2)
    by soccerdad on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 07:22:05 PM EST
    the oil law should be passed soon. All the rest are details.

    I was (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 07:53:13 PM EST
    told by one of my co-workers, who is dating a marine, that they are increasing stop-loss call ups. I cannot verify it.

    A Surge in American Forces is Unacceptable (none / 0) (#11)
    by aw on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 02:57:44 PM EST
    John Murtha:
    I am particularly disappointed that there are no credible benchmarks and no way to measure the military and economic progress of this operation. There is no incentive for the Iraqis to take over.

    All of us want stability in the Middle East, and Iraq is an important element in achieving that stability. But the military and their families deserve an achievable mission. It is unacceptable to me that we are sending troops back to Iraq who have not completed their training cycle and that we are extending troops who are battle-weary from the intensive combat in Iraq.


    Murtha is probably quite angry by now (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 03:46:26 PM EST
    Here he is talking about this on Hotline After Dark, Jan. 09:
    Rep. John Murtha (D-PA): "If he's able to try to increase the number of troops, he won't be able to send the 20,000 in altogether. And even then, he'll have to extend people who are there and he'll have to send people back before their year is up at home. And that means they won't have completed their cycle of training that they need and their families, of course, are suffering. And so a piecemeal approach is not the answer to this. And I think it's a real mistake for him to increase the number of troops. It's more targets. It's people without a mission" ("Hardball," MNSBC, 1/8).

    Obviously, by sending 21,500 troops to Iraq Bush is far exceeding what Murtha says is reasonable in terms of their training and readiness levels.

    Bushs' statement to expect more casualties is going to turn out to be an understatement as he sends in unprepared untrained troops. But what does he care. He's got a big PR problem. A few more lives? Big deal...


    Kucinich too... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 03:49:49 PM EST
    "In Iraq, his new plan is a plan for more door-to-door fighting, more civil war, more civilian casualties, more troop deaths, more wasted money, more destabilization in the region and more separation from the world community. The President wants to send more troops to Baghdad, where they will work to quell a civil war. Only a small portion - less than 20 percent - of the new effort will be spent in al Anbar, to fight al-Qaeda. Does anyone in this Administration have any sense left at all? They are sending more US troops into the middle of a civil war!

    Question? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 03:20:44 PM EST
    In all seriousness if President Bush wants to surge the troops who can stop him?

    I only ask (I have mixed opinions on this) because obviously most americans and congress don't support this but other then throwing him out of office does/or does he not have the power to do this simply because he's the executive branch and running the war?

    And if the answer is yes is congress' only reaction to either stomp up and down and do nothing or to defund the war?

    Haven't they for good or bad relenquished control of this particular issue?

    He's got the power.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 03:27:02 PM EST
    I've thought the same thing..."How do we stop him?"  I have no answer.  We are powerless to stop it absent a revolt or 2 impeachments (Bush and Cheney).  Congress appears impotent to me.

    That or wait 2 more years to elect someone who promises to end this madness of an occupation.


    The rubberstamping 109th republican... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 03:29:19 PM EST
    ...congress gave bush absolutely anything he wanted, up to and including passing and trying to pass laws to retroactively forgive any/all CRIMES of the bush maladministration.

    They are the worst enablers of the worst president in American history.

    We will be lucky if America, as we know it, survives bush/cheney.

    Give the dems some time. they have already started digging through the records to find examples of rethugs, like Mitch McConnell, sponsoring and helping to pass legislation to limit Clinton's use of war powers - successfully.

    THAT will come back to bite them in the @$$.


    Big Tent Democrat (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 05:22:58 PM EST
    made what I thought was a very good argument here on Tuesday that Congress can not only stop Bush's "surge" fantasy and any of his other war fantasies, but can actually end the occupation or any deployments to Iraq and probably force a complete withdrawal from Iraq, but that it first would have to invalidate the "blanket grant of war power" the 109th Congress gave to Bush in 2002, and then "'undeclare' the Iraq Debacle by repealing the Iraq War resolution" that originally authorized Bush's invasion of Iraq.

    Big Tent finished his post with:

    The Congress' power here seems clear to me. IT can END the Iraq war. But it can not dictate how it is conducted on military questions. That power belongs to the President.

    The only thing missing in the equation, it seems to me, is the political will to get off their a$$es and do it.

    Of course, from my point of view I'd like to see the political will to impeach the bums, charge them with war crimes, and get rid of them entirely.

    As far as what to do about and for Iraq now that it has been utterly destroyed by Bush and is barely a functioning state, I have yet to see any better ideas than what I thought were some insightful evaluations and some of the best suggestions I've seen from Squeaky here, and here.

    To save everyone the effort of clicking links, here they are:

    Our soldiers cannot tell the difference between the resistance and the population at large, what does that tell you. That is a big problem and it is not going to change. Since the middle class and intelligencia have fled Iraq there is no one to 'liberate'. Not that we were able to distinguish them from the insurgents either. By now our motives are transparently clear to all Iraqi's:  occupation, oil, Iran and Israel, not to mention the ringing cash registers for the US military industrial complex. Liberation was a smokescreen as is any argument to stay the course.

    Pay the Iraqi's 10 billion dollars (minimum) reparation, as a token gesture for the destruction and havoc we have wreaked on their country,  wish them well, and leave immediately. No more blood needs to be on our hands. Enough already.


    OK. Ten billion is too little to repair the emotional and physical damage that we have delivered to Iraq. Population of, let's say, 20,000,000....if every Iraqi gets $1000. that equals 20 billion. Throw in another 20 billion for infrastructure, no US companies allowed, and I think that the Iraqis will have hope and feel that there is goodwill toward them from the US. That is as long as we apologize, admit defeat and our mistakes and, leave.

    That kind of goodwill can be matched by other countries and philanthropists. It is true that you can not buy off a people that you have humiliated, tortured and oppressed, but $$$ can turn things around.